Something that you probably didn't know about me is that I used to be a middle school teacher. I taught agriculture to 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. I also had a few class pets. From bunnies to guinea pigs to hamsters all the pets were loved, but none were loved as much as Roosevelt the Rat! Yes, I had a pet rat! I purchased him at a pet store, and he became an instant hit in my classroom. The kids loved him, and he loved the kids. He begged to get out of his cage every time he heard the kids enter the classroom. The kids would immediately scoop him up and he would ride around on their shoulder. Roosevelt was the unofficial mascot of our school, and he lived a very good life for a rat! Unfortunately, Roosevelt developed cancer and had to be put to sleep at the ripe old age of 3.
Another thing you probably didn't know about me is that I don't like dead things. I admit this dislike is a little extreme, but I just can't help it. I even have a hard time handling the viewing when a loved one dies.
Okay enough background-on with the story! One night my husband wasn't feeling well, so he went to bed. I offered to lock up and feed the dogs. Our dogs, when they aren't hanging out with us, have a room in the basement with a dog door to the backyard. It is a really great set up for my spoiled pooches. On this particular night, I made my way downstairs and opened the basement door. As I opened the basement door, I saw the gift that my little ones had left for me. Perfectly laid out on its side was a dead rat-a huge dead rat! Now, you have to understand it is not the rat part that bothers me-it is the dead part. I start screaming! The only words I can get out of my mouth are "RAT" "RAT". I close the door to the basement and start running up the stairs. My little cocker spaniel is running behind me. I am still screaming "RAT" as I enter our bedroom. Michael wakes up to screaming and then hears little footsteps behind me (my cocker spaniel, Scout). He thinks the little footsteps are the rat chasing me, so he starts inching toward the head board pulling the covers up to his chin. (Just so you know- While writing this I am currently laughing hysterically thinking about the look on his face.) I finally calm down enough to tell him that there is a dead rat in the basement, and of course he has already figured out that the little footsteps were Scout. This is how the rest of the story plays out.
Me: Michael! There is a dead rat in the basement.
Michael: Get it out.
Me: I'm not touching it! I'm not going near it!
Michael: Neither am I.
Me: I will call 911 if you do not get that dead rat out of my basement. I am serious! (I pick up my phone).
Michael: You can't call 911 for a rat.
Me: Watch me!
Michael: Okay! I will go get the rat!
Me: Don't touch it! There are old people grabbers (the little grabber things that old people use when they can't bend over, it was a gag gift) in the garage. Use those and then you can fling it into the woods.
(At this point Michael gets a Dennis the Menace look on his face. I knew he was up to something.)
Me: If I see that rat again, I will divorce you. I'm not kidding. I will divorce you!
Michael: I thought about putting it on the hood of your car. It would be a nice surprise for you in the morning!
Me: That is so grounds for divorce. You better not! I will most definitely divorce you.
Michael laughs and gets up to go fling the dead rat into the woods. I never saw the rat again, so we are still happily married!
P.S.-Don't worry! My house is not infested with large rodents. That one must have come from the woods around our house because we haven't seen one or heard one since. Oh, and the picture above is one of my sweet little Roosevelt!